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This stuff is proving to be a bit like brown gold

There’s a lot of money in coffee.

Image: John Goode

THE COMPANY BEHIND Costa Coffee has reported a surge in profits with the majority of its growth coming from the coffee chain.

UK-based Whitbread this morning reported a hike in revenue to £1.44 billion (€1.96 billion) for the first half of the financial year.

The company, which also operates the Premier Inn chain of hotels, said its underlying profits were worth £291 million (€367 million) for the period, up almost 14% on the same time last year.

Its Costa brand made up some £514 million (€701 million) of the total revenue, a figure more than 16% higher than 12 months earlier. The company has over 3,000 Costa stores worldwide, making it the second-largest global operator after Starbucks.

Costa Source: Whitbread

Whitbread also said there had been “strong performance” from its Costa franchise business in Ireland, where the brand is run by Edinburgh-based brothers Raju and Sundeep Tuli.

The most-recent accounts for the pair’s company, MBCC Foods, which also operates fast-food outlets, showed an after-tax profit of €4.27 million on sales of almost €53 million to the end of January 2014.

That was up from a profit of €2.47 million and turnover of €46.2 million a year earlier. It employed an average of 1,034 people over the latest 12-month period.

90312814 Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said the company expected to open about 220 net new Costa stores worldwide this year.

It has also been ramping up the expansion of its Costa Express business which involves installing its own-branded machines in petrol stations, convenience stores and supermarkets.

The company was started in London by Italian brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa in the early 1970s but it was bought out by Whitbread in 1995.

READ: These are the best pubs, restaurants and hotels in Ireland, apparently >

READ: A bad hangover won’t just hurt your head – it’s damaging the country as well >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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